Amazon Prime is ramping up its original slate in a big way, picking up a whopping five primetime pilots to series: two dramas — the 1969 newsroom-set Good Girls Revolt, starring Genevieve Angelson, and political thriller Patriot, written and directed by Steven Conrad and co-starring Terry O’Quinn — and three comedies: dark comedy One Mississippi starring comedian Tig Notaro, written and executive produced by Notaro and Diablo Cody and executive produced by Louis CK; as well as Bob Nelson’s Highston, starring Mary Lynn Rajskub and Chris Parnell, and Z, starring Christina Ricci as Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. That means that five of the six drama and comedy pilots from Amazon’s most recent pilot season are going to series. The sixth, Shane Black and Fred Dekker’s Western Edge starring Max Martini, is getting its option extended I hear.
Additionally, freshman series Red Oaks and Hand Of God will join freshly renewed The Man In The High Castle in getting second-season pickups, so all three series that debuted on Amazon in 2015 will return next year.
On the kids side, the streaming service has picked up to series the pilots Danger & Eggs, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie (26 episodes) and Niko And The Sword Of Light and has renewed Tumble Leaf for a third season.
The newly picked up primetime shows join another recently ordered drama series, David E. Kelley’s Trial starring Billy Bob Thornton, which bypassed the pilot stage. Amazon’s returning series include Transparent and Mozart In The Jungle, which have been getting awards attention, most recently in the Golden Globes nominations, and the highly-rated drama Bosch.
With the pickup of six new series, Amazon is doubling its roster of original primetime comedies and dramas from 6 to 12.
Good Girls Revolt marks the first series order for Sony TV’s recently relaunched TriStar banner. One Mississippi was originally developed at FX, with FX Prods. remaining as producer alongside Amazon Studios:
Here are descriptions of Amazon’s newly picked up series:
New Half-Hour Series
Highston Liggetts (newcomer Lewis Pullman) is a 19-year-old with a wide circle of celebrity friends—that only he can see. His parents, Jean (Mary Lynn Rajskub, 24), and Wilbur (Chris Parnell, Saturday Night Live) force him to get psychiatric help, but his Uncle Billy (Curtis Armstrong, American Dad!) thinks he’s just fine. Highston is a comedy about what it means to be normal in a world that’s anything but. The pilot guest stars Shaquille O’Neal (Thunderstruck) and Flea (The Big Lebowski), and is written by Oscar-nominee Bob Nelson (Nebraska), directed by Independent Spirit Award winners Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), and executive produced by Sacha Baron Cohen (The Dictator), Todd Hoffman (Love Stinks), Nelson, and Todd Schulman (Bruno).
A dark comedy, loosely inspired by Tig Notaro’s (Boyish Girl Interrupted) life, One Mississippi follows Tig as she deals with the complex reentry into her childhood hometown of Bay Saint Lucille, Mississippi, to deal with the unexpected death of her mother, the interminable life of the party, Caroline. Reeling from her own recently declining health, Tig struggles to find her footing with the loss of the one person who actually understood her, with help from her older but not always wiser brother, Remy, played by Noah Harpster (Transparent), and her emotionally distant stepfather, Bill, played by John Rothman (The Devil Wears Prada). A surprise visit from Tig’s girlfriend, Brooke, played by Casey Wilson (Gone Girl) only compounds the reality of how out of place Tig is in a world without her mother. A co-production with FX Productions, One Mississippi is written and executive produced by Notaro and Diablo Cody (Juno), executive produced by Louis CK (Louie), Blair Breard (Louie), and Dave Becky (Master of None), with pilot directed and executive produced by Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said).
Z: The Beginning of Everything
Z: The Beginning of Everything is a bio-series pilot based on the life of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the brilliant, beautiful and talented Southern Belle who becomes the original flapper and icon of the wild, flamboyant Jazz Age in the 20s. Starring Christina Ricci (Monster) as Zelda Sayre, Z: The Beginning of Everything starts before she meets the unpublished writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and moves through their passionate, turbulent love affair and their marriage—made in heaven, lived out in hell as the celebrity couple of their time. The series travels through the wild parties, the wicked jazz, the dissolute artists of the era, as well as the alcoholism, adultery and struggle with dashed dreams and mental illness that characterizes their later years. Z: The Beginning of Everything dives into the fascinating life of a woman ahead of her time, an artist determined to establish her own identity in the tempestuous wake of a world-famous husband. The show pulls back the curtain on her triumphs and dark secrets. It’s a modern take on one of the most notorious love stories of all time, played out in salons and speak-easies from Montgomery, Alabama to the Cote D’Azur. Z: The Beginning of Everything is written by Dawn Prestwich (The Killing) and Nicole Yorkin (The Killing), directed by Tim Blake Nelson (Anesthesia), and executive produced by Pamela Koffler (Still Alice) and Christine Vachon (One Hour Photo) of Killer Films, as well as Ricci. The show also guest stars David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) as Judge Anthony Dickerson Sayre, Kristine Nielsen (Savages) as Minnie Sayre, Maya Kazan (The Knick) as Livye Hart, Sarah Schenkkan (30 Rock) as Eleanor Browder, Jamie Anne Allman (The Killing) as Tootsie Sayre, and Holly Curran (Alpha House) as Tilde Sayre.
New One-Hour Series
Good Girls Revolt
In 1969, while a cultural revolution with a soundtrack to match swept through the free world, there was still one place that refused to change with the times: newsrooms. Good Girls Revolt follows a group of young female researchers at “News of the Week,” who simply ask to be treated fairly. Their revolutionary request will spark convulsive changes and upend marriages, careers, sex lives, love lives, and friendships. Good Girls Revolt stars Genevieve Angelson (Backstrom) as Patti, Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect) as Jane, Erin Darke (We Need to Talk About Kevin) as Cindy, Chris Diamantopoulos (Silicon Valley) as Finn, Hunter Parrish (Weeds) as Doug, Jim Belushi (Show Me a Hero) as Wick McFadden, Joy Bryant (Parenthood) as Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Grace Gummer as Nora Ephron. A co-production with TriStar Television, Good Girls Revolt is written by Dana Calvo (Made in Jersey), directed by Liza Johnson (Return), and executive produced by Calvo, Lynda Obst (Interstellar), Darlene Hunt (The Big C), Don Kurt (Justified) and Jeff Okin (Dark Skies, Stanley Park). The pilot is inspired by the landmark sexual discrimination cases chronicled in Lynn Povich’s book, The Good Girls Revolt.
The political thriller Patriot follows the complicated life of intelligence officer John Tavner (Australian newcomer Michael Dorman, Wonderland). His latest assignment is to prevent Iran from going nuclear, requiring him to forgo all safety nets and assume a perilous “non-official cover” — that of a mid-level employee at a Midwestern industrial piping firm. A bout with PTSD, the Federal government’s incompetence, and the intricacies of keeping a day job in the “front” industrial piping company, cause a barrage of ever-escalating fiascos that jeopardize Tavner’s mission. The pilot also stars Terry O’Quinn (Lost) as Tom Tavner, John’s State Department Director of Intelligence father, Michael Chernus (Manhattan Project), as John’s older brother Edward Tavner, a young Texas congressman, Kathleen Munroe (Call Me Fitz), as John’s wife Alice, Aliette Opheim (Sandor slash Ida) as Agathe, a brilliant young homicide detective from Luxembourg hot on John’s trail, and Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show) as Mr. Claret, John’s stickler of a new “boss” at the piping firm. Patriot is written and directed by Steven Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Weather Man), and executive produced by Conrad, Gil Bellows (Temple Grandin), Glen Ficarra (Crazy Stupid Love, Focus), Charlie Gogolak (Focus), and John Requa (Crazy Stupid Love, Focus).
New Kids Series
Danger & Eggs
Danger & Eggs follows the endless adventures of fearless D.D. Danger and her ever-cautious best friend, a giant, talking egg named Phillip. D.D., an energetic future stuntwoman, is always chasing her next big thrill. Lucky for her, Phillip is always there with jerry-rigged safety mechanisms to more responsibly–and sometimes absurdly–make her thrill seeking dreams come true. Danger & Eggs is created by Mike Owens (Yo Gabba Gabba!) and Shadi Petosky (Mad), produced by Petosky and Chris Hardwick’s Puny Entertainment (Yo Gabba Gabba!), and features the voice talents of comedians Aidy Bryant and Eric Knobel (Saturday Night Live).
If you Give a Mouse a Cookie
When you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll probably ask for a glass of milk, and then…who knows what he’ll ask for next? If You Give a Mouse a Cookie follows the adventures of Mouse, Oliver and other familiar friends as they discover that when you’ve got a curious Mouse for a friend (not to mention a Moose, a Pig, a Cat and a Dog), one thing always leads to another, then another, and then another! You never know what to expect, but you do know it’s going to be fun—and maybe a little bit messy. Much like the books, the story will start in one place and lead to unexpectedly delightful twists and turns until we are back at home where we started. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is based on the beloved books by Laura Numeroff (Dennis the Menace) and Felicia Bond and written and developed by Emmy Award-winning writer Ken Scarborough (Arthur, Doug).
Niko and the Sword of Light
Niko and the Sword of Light is based on the motion graphic comic by Imaginism Studios, Inc., the studio behind character and concept designs for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Men in Black 3, and Studio NX (The Carrot and Rabbit Show, Tree Fu Tom). Written by Rob Hoegee (Generator Rex, League of Super Evil, Storm Hawks, Teen Titans) and animated by Titmouse (Motorcity, Metalocalpyse, Turbo FAST, Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja), Niko and the Sword of Light follows ten-year-old Niko who is the last of his kind in a strange, fantastical world. He must embark on an epic quest to defeat the darkness and bring the light back to his land. Armed with his magic sword, brave Niko journeys to the Cursed Volcano, making new friends and powerful foes along the way, all while uncovering secrets about his mysterious past. Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Jim Cummings (Shrek) lend their vocal talent.
Created by Gregory Jacobs (Magic Mike XXL, The Knick) and Joe Gangemi (Eliza Graves), Red Oaks is a half-hour coming-of-age dramedy set in suburban New Jersey in 1985. Sundance award-winner David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Eastbound and Down) and Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh (Behind the Candelabra, Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven) join Jacobs and Gangemi as Executive Producers. Set in the 1980s in suburban New Jersey, Red Oaks tells the story of David Meyers (Craig Roberts, Submarine, Neighbors), a college student and assistant tennis pro at the Red Oaks Country Club, as he struggles to figure out what his future holds for him. Season two picks up in 1986 as David deals with the fallout from his parents’ recent separation, and tries to define his relationship with the mercurial Skye (Alexandra Socha).
Hand of God
Created by Ben Watkins (Burn Notice), and marking the television debut of renowned filmmaker Marc Forster (World War Z), Hand of God is a drama centered around Judge Pernell Harris (Ron Perlman) who suffers a mental breakdown and goes on a vigilante quest to find the rapist who tore his family apart by relying on “visions” he believes are being sent by God through his son. Hand of God also stars Dana Delany (Body of Proof) as the Judge’s wife Crystal Harris, Garret Dillahunt (Justified) as KD, the born-again sociopath who is exploited by Pernell, Andre Royo (The Wire) as the slick and greedy mayor Robert ‘Bobo’ Boston, Alona Tal (Burn Notice) as Pernell’s grieving daughter-in-law Jocelyn Harris, Julian Morris (Pretty Little Liars) as the questionable preacher, and Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle Of Nowhere) as Pernell’s call girl and confidante Tessie, among others.
Created by Drew Hodges (Community) and executive produced by Hodges and Kelli Bixler (The Roadents) of the award-winning studio Bix Pix Entertainment, features voice work from Christopher Downs as Fig, Brooke Wolloff as Maple, Zac McDowell as Hedge, Addie Zintel as Pine, and Alex Trugman as Ginkgo. Tumble Leaf features lush worlds and playful stop-motion animation that garnered four Daytime Emmys and the Daytime Emmy for Best Preschool Series, earned the Jury Award for a TV series at the 2014 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the 2015 Annie Award for Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Preschool Children, and a 2015 Parents’ Choice Gold Award.